One of the little surprises this holiday season was a framed quote that many of you have already seen:
My doctor asked if any members of my family suffered from insanity. I replied, “No, we all seem to enjoy it.”
After the initial chuckle, taking time to ponder just what this statement can mean still brings a smile to my face.
But probably without the laughter.
A few weekends before Alex was scheduled to arrive home, Ann and I thought that I should call Monday morning and see if I could get an emergent appointment with the doctor in Salt Lake. The combination of mental illness symptoms and medication side effects felt just out of my reach of control.
I have learned how to control my outward actions and responses to the mental inward implosions. The feelings of slowing slipping into insanity, the screaming inside at being locked in an unreal prison that is more restricting than any cell made of iron bars, and the overwhelming physical exhaustion can be tamed and kept within.
I actually think I’m pretty nice and easy going overall.
But we had hit that point where I didn’t think I could last until our next appointment after the first of the year.
Continue reading We’ve made it through the forest, only to find that there are still lots of trees
A wonderful friend and priesthood brother of mine is going through something unimaginable, and has been for years now.
As a husband and a father, this is just about as tough as it gets; I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that plummets the depths of his soul.
We’ve talked several times throughout this experience about a fundamental human need that helps us make it through these tough trials:
What is hope?
He shares that he can understand having hope in the long run; you know, hope in the next life, hope that things eventually will work out okay.
(Source: Alex Batty)
But what about today?
Or, even more difficult, what about tomorrow, when it is even darker than today?
I’ve lain awake trying to pull my thoughts together and put words to what I feel and know within. Chances are pretty good that I’m going to botch this up, but I’ll try anyway.
Continue reading What is hope?
There is more to do than there are hours in the day.
It’s just a fact.
We’ve all had moments of when-will-I-cram-that-yoga-time (which more often than not ends up instead at the freezer door with a large spoon headed for the chocolate ice cream).
And as we close our eyes after leaning against the closed freezer door, we realize that waiting for us in just a few hours is the need to get up tomorrow and try to fit 30 hours into 24.
Ever stop and wonder: Is this all there is?
We think that if it is, we may as well just throw in the towel. There has to be more to life than this.
To help combat that heavy feeling and give us the energy to keep driving through the day we place benchmarks ahead of us, things that we are working towards, things that we will “get to” after the hard work of today – the reward for all the work.
Something that makes it all worth it.
An Alaskan cruise.
A promotion at work with a better office and benefits.
Losing 15 pounds, and not finding them again.
A visit to the Hair Club for Men to restore the curly blond locks of 30 years ago.
What if, however, today is all there is?
Continue reading Is this all there is?
(All images in this post are from the LDS Media Library)
I remember a conversation I had with my dad several years ago. We were in his office at work and I was in meltdown mode.
So what’s new, right?
But I was stumbling over inadequate words trying to communicate the incredible fear that would grip me, paralyzing me inside and sending me into frantic pacing on the outside.
I wasn’t afraid of anything in particular; I was just full of fear of everything.
Suffice it to say that it was pretty maddening.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a picnic for Ann and the kids either.
Lately I’ve been able to make clear contrasts between then and now.
The entombing fear is gone; I know in my head and my heart and my spirit that I have nothing to fear.
Continue reading Gain faith, grant forgiveness and then go forward
I have been forgiven.
I’ve done a lot of rotten things in my life.
I haven’t forgotten any of the things I’ve done; I still feel sorrow for the pain I’ve caused others. If only I could go back, right?
But I can’t.
I can, however, remember always the hard-earned lessons and commit to never repeat what I know to be wrong.
This process brings me peace; peace that I have been forgiven.
Today is bright and tomorrow always full of hope because the weight of the sin has been lifted from my shoulders.
So, in gratitude for this gift, I really should ask:
Have I been forgiving?
Continue reading Forgiving the Unforgivable